May 30th, 2024

2020 was a year of anniversaries on stamps


By WALTER KERBER Lethbridge Philatelic Society on December 30, 2020.

2020 has been an eventful year, with many an anniversary. It was 75 years ago when the Second World War ended, 30 years since German unification. Each of these was marked all over the world by countries, involved or not, issuing stamps for us poor collectors. It is big business for some of these postal authorities.
Of these events, music had Beethoven, 250 years; religion, Pope John Paul, 100 years birth anniversary; politics, the 90th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Salt March; space, Apollo XIII 50 years ago. The list goes on and on, but for stamp collectors, the most important, the one that started this crazy hobby, is the Penny Black, 180 years since that first issue. If it never came out, a whole world of philatelists would not exist. That Penny Black, and the Penny Red that came in the same year. These were the marvels of the postal industry all over the world, being copied in many countries.
Just think, if there were no stamps, there would be a lot of empty rooms in houses, museums … the repercussions would be endless. Wives would not be chastising their husbands. Look at what that little piece of paper caused around the world. Stamp collecting has employed millions, from dealers to auctioneers, and outfits like eBay makes big business in this segment. Then there are the publishers, albums, catalogues, magazines, flyers, newspapers and suppliers from binders to stamp thongs. Stamps are also a great display of art works from around the world, scientific achievements, biographies and a world of others, a virtual encyclopedia of information.
Which anniversary has the greatest value in your lifetime? For me and my hobby, the anniversary of the invention of the postage stamp must be the most important, even though I do not possess a Penny Black in my collection.
Walter Kerber is a longtime member of the Lethbridge Philatelic Society.

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